Last week I found myself taking the train into New York with my friend Scott. Scott has generously given me good business advice over the years, so I was happy to reciprocate when he said, “I am considering taking a new job, but the office is two hours away. So, I’ve put together a plan whereby I would work from home two days a week and in the office three days. What do you think? Should I propose this before I get the offer?”
Scott is not the first person to ask me, “Should I mention that I want to work flexibly when I am interviewing for a job?” There are many variables that influence the answer including:
Note from Cali: My terrific guest bloggers continue to help me manage my “fit” as I care for my mom. This week you’re going to hear from Courtney E. Martin, a writer who came to my attention when she wrote an insightful article for American Prospect that included the Work+Life Fit Reality Check research. She is also the author of Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters: The Frightening New Normalcy of Hating Your Body (Simon & Schuster’s Free Press), and a freelance writer for the New York Times, Newsweek, the Huffington Post and the Christian Science Monitor, among other national publications, as well as an adjunct professor gender studies at Hunter College.
As someone who witnesses how the expectations of Gen-Ys for “balance” and flexibility are forcing many organizations to change, I found Martin’s commentary on how it can’t be a one-way street and how her generation needs to meet the world of work halfway fascinating. Enjoy!
Great, if not Dangerous, Expectations by Courtney E. Martin
As another class of hung over college students cross that graduation stage and grab their very expensive diplomas, I am thinking a lot about the rude awakening that awaits them on the other side. After the celebratory dinners have been eaten, the dorm rooms cleaned out, the summer adventures experienced…the prospect of job/apartment/health insurance/bills will be staring them down hardcore. They may find out that the real world is not all it’s cracked up to be. Or as I put it in my new book Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters: The Frightening New Normalcy of Hating Your Body, “the real world ain’t no MTV.”
First, let me spread some blog love: Welcome, Kathie Lingle, Executive Director of the Alliance for Work-Life Progress to the blogosphere with her new blog. Her knowledge and experience is on display full force in her posting this week where she challenges the reality of the “opting-out” trend with an abundance of research to the contrary. And she warns (as I have many times) that perpetuating the myth actually hurts the very women it is supposedly trying to help. Welcome Kathie!
On this Father’s Day, let’s hear it for the men. More research proves, once again, that combining work and life is an issue for everyone. Not just women:
• An important article appeared recently inside the first section of The New York Times (unfortunately not the front page), entitled “Signs of Détente Between Venus and Mars” regarding a number of academic, peer reviewed studies in which men and women reported increasingly similar levels of concern related to work and life.
• Monster.com just released a survey where 58% of fathers felt their employers should be more considerate of their needs as working dads, and a majority appreciate having a flexible work schedule.
The fact is men are part of the debate and more are making their unique voices heard in blogs and books, including:
Note from Cali: As many of my regular readers know, sadly, my mother is in the last stages of her fight with lung cancer. One way I am adjusting my work+life fit is to draw upon the expertise of some wonderful experts and writers who will appear periodically as guest bloggers.
This week please welcome Jill Tipograph, founder/director of Everything Summer , who describes her business as “the only independent resource to which discerning families can turn for unbiased summer planning guidance.” Jill will offer some great tips on summer planning from her book, Your Everything Summer Guide & Planner . Take it away Jill!
Even though summer is officially less than a month away, parents can still maximize great experiences for their kids and teens. Plus, wise parents use the current summer to start thinking about next year’s summer, since quality camps and programs do fill early. Here are some shortcuts to help busy families make the right summer plans for their kids…